Guest Post by: Justin Bennett of HealthyFit.Info
Image Courtesy of Pixabay.com
Get to Know Your Gut
Our digestive tract is often called the second brain of the body. It produces the chemicals we need to feel happy but also is imperative to our immune system’s functionality. Our guts are full of helpful bacteria, such as Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Akkermansia, as well as other probiotics. These help us digest our food but also keep our bodies healthy.
When the levels of healthy bacteria diminish, we can experience negative side effects, such as constipation or diarrhea. You may have difficulty processing food, become bloated, or even have heartburn. These changes in gut flora can lead to a fluctuation in weight, fatigue or loss of sleep, skin conditions, and even autoimmune deficiencies. Understanding the need for probiotics, and knowing what you can do to improve your gut health, can cause other areas of your health to dramatically improve.
Adjust Your Diet
You can start the process of healing your digestive tract with your diet. The most basic tenet of a good diet is to eat unprocessed, natural foods. You want meals that have healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts, and salmon, and that offer large doses of fiber to keep your insides clean.
Cruciferous veggies and healthy carbs, like sweet potatoes and squash, are excellent for our digestive strength. Add some fermentation to your day as well. Fermented foods are rich in naturally occurring probiotics, which can bolster our gut and our immune system. Don’t stop there. Things like apple cider vinegar have something called hydrochloric acid, which helps us process difficult-to-digest foods, like fats and protein. Unsweetened yogurt is also good for us. If you are getting dairy-free versions, make sure they have live cultures added to them.
Find the Right Exercise
You may notice that when you exercise, you find some of your digestive ailments alleviated, yet there are ways to make sure the workouts you choose are the best possible option for digestion. Yoga is one particularly effective means of exercising your digestive ills away. Many poses gently compress your internal organs, which can help move things along in a natural, calm way. You also stretch your body out, elongating your spine and intestines, which can help digestion. Regular exercise can strengthen your muscles, especially your abdominals, which may aid in your digestive health. Moderate aerobics can increase circulation, which helps blood get to your gut.
If you’re planning on starting a yoga practice, you can do so right from home. Create a dedicated space for practicing—a spare bedroom or rarely used dining room is ideal. Make sure you remove any possible distractions and introduce some calming elements like indoor plants. Open any curtains or shades to allow as much natural light into the room as possible. If dirty windows are preventing light from entering this space, you can read reviews on window washing services near you to find capable local window cleaners. Expect to pay between $2 and $7 per glass pane.
Things to Avoid
There are plenty of things we shouldn’t do (or eat) if we want to keep our gut healthy. Foods high in lectin should be avoided, as lectin can stick to our intestine and make it difficult to process nutrients. This can lead to inflammation, something that needs to be avoided to heal our gut. It’s also wise to avoid foods that are heavily laden in fat or foods that have been fried. These can cause chaos in our intestines and stomach, leading to aggravated IBS, acid reflux, or heartburn. Spicy foods can irritate the GI tract, so no matter how much you love hot food, it’s time to cut back.
You may need to reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption. It can cause inflammation in the gut, and also block our bodies from absorbing nutrients. It may even lead to diarrhea or stomach cramps. You may also want to cut back on how many berries you eat. Tiny seeds can get stuck in our stomachs or intestines and cause many problems, such as infection.
It may seem like a giant overhaul, but remember, you don’t have to make all of these changes overnight. Living a healthy lifestyle will come from making small, gradual changes over time. Setting goals such as eating a mindful diet, doing the right gentle exercises, and knowing what you should avoid are great places to start. Soon, you may find yourself feeling better than you ever have.